hundred sixty college students say the pandemic has become more difficult access to care mental health as well as financial tensions and the prevalence of increased depression among them, according to a new study on the impact of COVID-19 in the welfare of the student.

The study of Healthy Minds Network for Research on adolescents and young adults Mental Health and the American College Health Association reaped results of 18,764 students at 14 campuses. Researchers say that much of what they found is more confirmatory surprising, but with hard data will help schools make decisions about providing mental health and welfare services to students

Between the results:.

  • Sixty-six percent of students report that the pandemic has caused more stress financial - "a predictor known health metal student," according to the report on the results of the survey - and 35.7 percent say it has moved them to a new living situation as a result of the pandemic.
  • the prevalence of depression among college students increased from the pandemic caused the closure of schools this spring compared with fall 2019, while the prevalence of substance abuse decreased (see chart). A higher proportion of students - 30.5 percent compared with 21.9 percent the previous fall - reported that their mental health negatively affecting their academic performance at the least six days during the previous four weeks
  • around 15 percent. students report having a probable case of COVID-19, but less than 1 percent of students said the diagnosis was confirmed by a test. Among students who reported confirmed or probable cases, 5.5 percent describe their symptoms as severe, 35.1 percent as moderate, 55.3 percent as mild and 4.1 percent they said they were asymptomatic .
  • Students express high levels of concern about how long the pandemic will last. Approximately one quarter of students - 25.8 percent - they say they are "very" or "extremely" concerned about contracting the virus, while 64.4 percent say they are "very" or "extremely" concerned about a person who care about hiring COVID- 19.
  • Five and a half percent of the students reported experiencing discrimination or hostile behavior based on race or ethnic origin as a result of the pandemic and 41 percent reported witnessing discriminatory behavior online or in person.
  • the vast majority of students - 84 percent - say public health agencies are their most reliable source of information on the pandemic. Around 60 percent said they were "very closely" following the recommendations for hygienic practices, and about 70 percent said they were "very closely" following the recommendations of physical and social distancing.
  • 41.8 percent of students who attempted to seek mental health care during the pandemic, 23.3 percent said they had been "much more difficult" to access care, and 36.8 percent said it was "more difficult."
  • Around 69 percent of students said their school administration has been supportive during the pandemic, and about 78 percent said their teachers have been supportive.

    Mary Hoban, director of research at the American College Health Association, stressed that the data were collected during a window rather narrow between March and May, when the universities that had not been used telehealth before the pandemic I had to quickly put new telehealth systems in place. He said counseling centers college also had problems initially with licensing regulations at the state level which prohibits the provision of mental health services across state borders; Many of these regulations have been relaxed for the duration of the public health emergency.

    Hoban expects the image access to mental health and the ability of the college counseling center will improve in the fall.

    "does not mean that all challenges have been addressed, but we will have better systems in place for regulations licensing between states and the establishment of a new customer, a new patient ", said. "Those were things that were bigger challenges in the beginning."

    At the same time, Hoban expressed concern about the potential of universities to cut spending on mental health services as they struggle with broader financial problems. Around 20 percent of institutions responding to a separate survey reported having ACHA unexpected staff reductions this summer.

    Sarah Ketchen Lipson, co-principal investigator of national minds healthy study and assistant professor of health law, policy and management at Boston University, said the findings highlight the need for protection budgets for mental health and to ensure that students are aware of the resources available to them, including telehealth resources.

    "The challenge we have is what we can do to increase access," said increase student understanding of the landscape of mental health, which is very different from how it looked before.

    Lipson said teachers have an important role to play in caring for student welfare and referral to mental health services as needed. With students who have fewer interactions with peers, athletic trainers, personal life of the student, she said teachers have a greater role gatekeeping. He suggested that the ability to display information about mental health and wellness resources in their curricula and have time to talk about resources in your first class and stress points of the semester, and during midterms and finals.

    Lipson also stressed the need for partnerships between counseling centers and campus financial aid offices in the light of stressful financial factors many students face.

    David M. Arnold, assistant vice president for health, safety and well-being initiatives to NASPA, an association of student affairs administrators, echoed the idea that the responsibility of students mental health "it is not the sole responsibility of the counseling center and clinical staff."

    "Data from this study may help inform what questions campus can be locally calling on the boats both service delivery and design to better accommodate students," Arnold said via email electronic. "The data also helps complete a picture of student needs beyond mental health. When they threatened basic needs (physiological, safety, security) are, threatening our mental health leads. feelings of economic uncertainty students may be the biggest threats campus can try to adjust ensuring continuity of employment of students, internships and other professional services. The survey also goes well to identify that there are no issues COVID-19 in the isolation of exposure and response of the public to systemic racial oppression, which is directly the material for mental health and social identity. "

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